Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: November 15, 2021
Contact: Jesse Dougherty
Telephone: 515-725-5487

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Iowa Recognizes National Apprenticeship Week, Emphasizes Workforce Solutions After Record Year of Growth with Apprenticeships

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa kicks off National Apprenticeship Week this week to recognize the critical pathways created by apprenticeship programs and their value in today’s workforce. Registered Apprenticeship programs are increasing across the state because they provide a proven solution for Iowa employers, students, and job seekers.

“The record growth of Registered Apprenticeship programs, even during the pandemic, has created meaningful career pathways across Iowa’s economy and opportunities to train the skilled workforce we need for the future,” said Governor Kim Reynolds. “I applaud every Iowa business that has taken the critical step to bring apprentices onboard, whether they are adult learners or even high school students, and I remain committed to and encourage the growth of the earn while you learn model and keeping our great talent right here in Iowa.”

Iowa broke Registered Apprenticeship records in federal fiscal year 2021 – adding 181 new programs, 51 new occupations, and 4,350 new apprentices, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship. In FY21, a total of 1,846 employers participated in programs to support more than 8,500 apprentices.

Governor Reynolds recently celebrated National Apprenticeship Week by releasing a video message, signing a statewide proclamation, and attending the launch of a new high school Registered Apprenticeship in patient care through the Career Academy of Pella, which will help train future Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA).

To further promote National Apprenticeship Week, Iowa Workforce Development in conjunction with Davenport Community School District and local business partners helped kick off the week’s celebration with a media event in Davenport. Davenport Community School District showcased their successful Registered Apprenticeship program which currently has 26 high school apprentices. Created with meaningful business and education partnerships, the program has emerged as a proven model for Iowa high school students that underscores the wide net of apprenticeships that are now available.

“National Apprenticeship Week is significant every year, but this year we are doubling down on the importance of these programs to help create long-term solutions for our employers, students, and job seekers,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “We are working hard to show Iowans that Registered Apprenticeship programs are able to be created in almost every sector. And, with the support of employers, we are training and equipping the next generation of workers starting today.”

The 7th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is taking place from November 15-21, 2021. NAW is a nationwide celebration where industry, labor, equity, workforce, education, and government leaders host events and activities to showcase the successes and value of Registered Apprenticeship programs. Additional events are taking place across Iowa.

In total, the state currently has 850 Registered Apprenticeship programs involving nearly 60 high schools.

Iowa’s support for Registered Apprenticeship programs will continue again early next year, when training grants through the Iowa Apprenticeship Act (15B) and the Iowa Registered Apprenticeship Development Fund (15C) become available. Both funds are now administered through IWD, with the application window opening on January 1.  Details can be found here.

For more information on these opportunities and Iowa’s Registered Apprenticeship programs, please visit or contact Kris Byam at